Friday, February 24, 2012

And the winner is...

Happy Oscars Weekend to all!  In honor of the Academy Awards, please enjoy this hilarious depiction of the year's best films, brought to you by a very cute baby.

The Descendants

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Make My Wishes Come True - Clipboard

I love to-do lists. I love making them, I love organizing them, and I love scratching items out once I've accomplished them. I confess that sometimes I list things that I've already done, just for the satisfaction of crossing them out. Admit it -- you've done this before!

My beloved calendar and notebook
The downside to this is that I have lists coming out of my ears, on all manner of paper scraps, and, in times of true desparation, limbs. This may have something to do with the fact that I always carry not one but two leather-bound notebooks: one organizer and calendar, and one notebook just for jotting things down. I use them because they're beautiful, but also because I like being able to see my days planned out. I know it probably makes more sense from a pragmatic point of view to use my iPhone calendar, but this works for me. (For a fascinating read about the paper v. electronic calendar debate, check out this article.) It's funny, because my husband thinks I'm crazy for sticking to my bulky paper calendars, but when I mention this to my ladyfriends, it turns out that many of them still use paper too. Further proof that they are my kind of people.

 However, I have felt the pull to the dark side lately, and I have this app to blame: TeuxDeux is a deeply satisfying to-do list that's beautifully and simply designed (thanks, in part, to the delightful swissmiss) and comes with just the right amount of bells and whistles. You enter your to-do items on the day that you intend to do them. Once you finish, you tap the item and it oh-so-satisfyingly crosses it out for you. If you don't cross things off by the end of the day, the app rolls them over to the following day. One of the best features, though, is the "Someday" list, where you can note all those nagging little things that you mean to get to at some point, but that don’t fit into a particular day. To me, that feature sets this apart from the standard iPhone Reminders app, which requires you to match up your reminders to a particular day. And we all know that there are certain things one just can’t quite commit to, but that you don’t want to forget!

TeuxDeux is free on the web, and the app is $2.99. If you use the web-based service and the app, your lists will sync automatically, so you can make changes on both ends and see them on the other side. You can also have multiple accounts for different purposes. For example, I use one account for my every day list-keeping enjoyment, but then I have another account that I use to plan out ideas for Tall and Salty posts. I use the "Someday" section to keep track of little tidbits that catch my eye for Friday afternoon weekly roundup posts. And now I’ll be crossing "TeuxDeux" off of my list of posts for today!

Do you use a paper calendar or electronic? If you’re a paper-monger like me, would you be willing to give an electronic form a go?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

No Cheating, No Dying

No Cheating, No Dying
About two years ago, Elizabeth Weil published this article in the New York Times Magazine, about her research on marriage and the results of her (and her husband's) rather fascinating experiment to better their marriage.  The first paragraph made me laugh out loud and is enough to make me want to read more:

"I have a pretty good marriage. It could be better. There are things about my husband that drive me crazy. Last spring he cut apart a frozen pig’s head with his compound miter saw in our basement. He needed the head to fit into a pot so that he could make pork stock. I’m no saint of a spouse, either. I hate French kissing, compulsively disagree and fake sleep when Dan vomits in the middle of the night. Dan also once threatened to punch my brother at a family reunion at a lodge in Maine. But in general we do O.K."

Her book based on the article comes out today, and looks rather amusing and heavy at the same time. 

You can read the first chapter of the book here.  The premise is that we're willing to work hard to be good at lots of things, so why not work at being good at marriage?  I know I tend to take the people I love the most for granted.  Who hasn't snapped at someone they love, knowing that he or she will still like you later just the same? 

Pinned Image
Image via here
 In general, I'm afraid of self-help books, but this one looks pretty interesting.  (Maybe that's why I didn't like The Happiness Project on my first go-round!  Side note: I'm on the "Marriage" chapter right now -- is the universe trying to send me a sign here?)  How about you?  Would you read a self-help book?  Have you read any that have actually helped you, or do you tend to get bored like I do and eschew books like this in favor of something of the Twilight/Hunger Games ilk?

Domino (and not the Jessie J song)

Exciting news from Conde Nast today: according to Habitually Chic, they are publishing a special edition of Domino magazine that will be released April 17! 

Via Habitually Chic
They also appear to have resurrected their Facebook page and started a Twitter feed, which reports that "Quick Fixes will be a special edition full of Domino’s best home decorating stories, focusing on easy and inexpensive changes that make a big difference."  Everything is very carefully labeled with the "domino special edition!" logo, but let's speculate wildly, just because it's fun.  Could this mean a resurrection for the magazine?  Discuss.  Excitedly.    

Joss & Main, are you spying on me?

I opened my daily Joss & Main email today, and what to my wondering eyes should appear?  A few things that I have and love (and apparently should not have paid full price for!) and a few new things that I'd be happy to give a new home to.  Allow me to share:

your hand in mine dog duvet
Image via Molly Mutt

Tall and Salty's Editorial Assistant adores his Molly Mutt dog bed.  We used to keep some blankets and towels in the bottom of his crate and he seemed to like that just fine, but ever since we got him this bed, he hangs out in there all the time, even when we're home (call it it the canine equivalent of the Forever Lazy)!  And we love it because we don't have to wash the whole bed every time it's starting to look a bit dingy.  We just take off the outside cover -- the duvet, if you will -- and leave the stuffing for washing later.  I highly recommend the Stuff Sack, too.  You don't have to get it, but it makes washing the duvet part much easier.  These also come in some great prints, which is nice if, like us, your dog bed is a prominent part of your living room decor.

I've had my eye on The World in Vogue: People, Parties, Places for a long time (side note: sorry about the loss, TomAt least you know your wife still thinks you're the cat's pajamas!).  This is a great coffee table book, and the site has tons of others to choose from.  I'll take Kate Betts' Michelle Obama bookAnnie Leibovitz at Work, and Celerie Kemble's Black and White (And a Bit in Between), thank you very much. 

Growing up, my mom had a big red plate just like this one that said "You are Special Today" that you got to use on your birthday!  It lived in the china cabinet every other day, and only came out for special occasions.  Let me tell you, this was A Very Big Deal in our house.  (In a truly touching and also hilarious moment, she even had me use it at the big family dinner that my parents hosted the night before our rehearsal dinner).  I'd love to do something similar, and this Chalkboard China plate would be just the thing.    

I love how you could change it up for different occasions -- birthdays, holidays, weddings, or just for everyday, "Hooray for being you!" type celebrations.  And I could see a very adorable "we're having a baby!" scenario if this fell into the right hands. 

Do you see anything you like? 

FYI: I haven't received any sort of perks from Joss & Main -- just passing along a few ideas.  However, if you sign up through the link I provided, I'll receive a referral credit.  Thought you should know!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Here's a good secret.

Happy Monday, everyone.  We had a lovely time in Tampa this weekend, but sometimes traveling over the weekend makes it tough to get going come Monday morning.  I hope you're all starting off the week with a burst of energy, but if you didn't exactly spring out of bed this morning, I'll let you in on one of my favorite Lazy Person Secrets: Psssssst!   

I started using this when I was stressed out and studying for the bar exam, a time where one generally loses the will to do basic human activities like fix her hair and get dressed in the morning.  This is one of the greatest products of our time (although whose time it is in fact of is up for debate -- when my mom saw me using this she was incredulous!  "They still MAKE that??" she said.  Apparently it was hip when she was in high school!). 

Image via This is Not New

If you wake up late and don't feel like washing and styling your hair, this lets you skip shampooing and get right out the door, and gives your hair a great piece-y texture, especially if you have fine hair like mine.  I usually like the way my hair looks on Psssssst! days more than I like it on days when I wash it.  Every girlfriend who I've told about this has later confessed that she loves it.  A work colleague once told me that it changed her life!

There are lots of fancy dry shampoos out there, and I've read that Klorane and Rene Furterer are both excellent (the lovely Jo recommends both).  But for about $6 a can, I've always been more than content with Psssssst!  (And there's an "!" in the name.  How many products can boast that?*)  You can pick up Psssssst! at most drugstores.  It's usually right next to the lice shampoo, but if you can get over that, I bet you'll love it! 

Do any of you already use dry shampoo?  What kind?  How did you start using it?

* I suppose this one does come to mind.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Have a lovely weekend!

Photo by Max Wanger
 Happy Friday, friends!  While I am off on the world's quickest trip to Tampa and Orlando, enjoy the following.

If yesterday's Valentine's Day gifts post wasn't exactly your cup of tea, enjoy this funny card.

The Jason Wu for Target collection goes on sale Sunday.  Here's a map of the Chicago area stores that will have the merchandise in-store.  To my unending regret, these designer collaborations all tend to run way too short on me (this Rodarte for Target dress was straight up bedroom attire!) but good luck to the rest of you -- these clothes are adorable.  I love the mustard top and black skirt outfit.

Design*Sponge featured these Lulie Wallace paintings a few weeks ago.  You should check them out!  I have this image as my desktop wallpaper, and it makes me smile whenever I see it.  Lulie also does commissions for a reasonable price.  What a lovely piece of personal art for your home!

This has been everywhere, but in the off chance you've missed it, get ready for a good laugh!  Kristen Bell is a hoot, but Ellen can ALWAYS make me laugh.

This Kate Spade video will make you a) want a shirt that says "Skirt the Rules," b) wonder how it's possible to play musical chairs with such grace in such footwear; and c) smile!  (And over the weekend, save $50 on your purchase of $250, in stores or online with code "YOP12")

This made me laugh: a weirdly punny/funny knitting book for dudes.

Gilt City Chicago is offering a White Sox proposal package.  For $5000.  This could be...interesting? 

Take a look at Eli Manning's condo and Tom Brady's GINORMOUS LAIR.  (Via The Nesting Game, who also makes a good point: isn't Eli's place a little not as interesting as you'd expect?)

You know how Jay-Z has 99 Problems?  It appears that Eli Manning is dealing with his own list of Problems A Through K.

Wes Welker took his Super Bowl press conference as an opportunity to tell the world about Tom Brady's toilet.  Exhibit A in support of the theory that sometimes, boys are just a bit weird.   

Leaving on a Jet Plane

We are headed on a very quick jaunt to Orlando and Tampa this weekend -- less than 36 hours!  Despite the fact that stuffing my long-limbed self into an airplane seat for hours is rather unpleasant, I'm one of the few people I know who loves to fly.  There's something that feels so indulgent about sitting still and reading a book or watching a movie for a few hours that makes me happy (and the loss of that "do whatever I want" time is one of the many things that makes me nervous to have kiddos someday!).  I thought I'd share my favorite plane accoutrements with you all.  Happy flying!

I always bring a roomy carryall in a fun color or pattern.  My current bag of choice is the J. Crew Newsstand Tote in leopard suede.
Newsstand tote in leopard suede
Available here.  Use the code "LOVEIT" for an extra 30% off of the sale price!
I will confess that my husband HATES this bag, but I think it's fabulous!  It's perfect with an understated outfit and ballet flats, which is my Travel Uniform.  As an added bonus, there are pockets on both ends, so I can stash my wallet, with my ticket and ID, in one of them for easy access when going through security.  I just make sure to keep the side with my wallet in front, tucked under my arm, to keep it safe.

To keep my various cords and tech odds and ends corralled, I use a Grid-It organizer.
Cocoon GRID-IT Organizer CPG5
It's basically a fabric-covered board that has a bunch of stretchy bands crisscrossing one side.  You can wedge all of your cords, chargers, and other loose travel items into it, keeping them all in place where you can find them, without having to dig around the bottom of your bag or the various pockets of your suitcase.  No more knots -- hurrah! 
Everyone has their own phone preference, but for me, the iPhone is the greatest invention for travel EVER, with the iPad a close second.  Having all of my books and email in the palm of my hand in the form of my iPhone makes waiting in line seem like a pleasure, instead of a chore.  And I've found that the iPad is so much better than traveling with a laptop: it's smaller, you don't have to remove it from your bag to run it through security, and it makes lugging books, magazines, music, or movies around in your bag obsolete. 

Once I'm on the plane, I love being able to watch a movie or catch up on my embarrasingly lowbrow television shows.  I have the original iPad, so no fancy self-stowing case/stand for me.  I bring this little contraption to prop up my screen for my viewing pleasure (and when I'm not using it, it fits neatly in my Grid-It).

I tend to freeze on planes, so to stay warm, I have two lines of defense:  

First, since I usually wear ballet flats of some sort when I travel, I bring a pair of squishy socks to keep my feet warm.  I panic purchased a pair of these at the Lacoste store in the Charlotte airport a few months ago when I found myself facing a ten-hour flight without socks, and they're the best!  They're nice and warm, but since they're ankle socks, they don't take up much room in my bag. 
Men'S Green Croc Quarter Cotton Blend Ped Sport Sock
Second, I never fly without a big scarf.  My favorites are from Nordstrom, come in every color imaginable, and feel like a million bucks.  These scarves are great for travel because they're big enough to use blankie-style, but thin enough to wear around your neck throughout your travels.  Treat yourself -- they're the best!
Nordstrom Tissue Weight Cashmere Wrap
I've gotten into knitting recently, so I'll be working away attempting to create a cowl just like this one:
Using yarn that looks like this:
For any of you knitters out there, I'm using this pattern from Ravelry (I'm "TallandSalty" -- say hi!), and Twinkle by Classic Elite Baby Chunky yarn in Dove.  (For any non-knitters, Ravelry is the "Facebook for Knitting."  It's pretty amazing how organized it is.  Or not...I mean, we are talking about knitters here.)  This is a great plane activity, because you can do it at the same time as you're watching a movie, listening to a book, or chatting with a charming seatmate. 

Add a nice slender bottle of SmartWater (there's just something about how much better that bottle fits in my bag!) and perhaps an Us Weekly for takeoff and landing, and I am happy as can be.

Anyone else traveling this weekend?  Safe travels!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Happiness Project, Round II

If you're a young lady of a certain age (i.e., 20-40), I'd be willing to bet that you've read, talked about, or pretended to know what other people were talking about when they discussed "The Happiness Project," the book by Gretchen Rubin.  If nothing else, you've probably seen its bright cover in Anthropologie.

I tried to read it a little over a year ago, but found that I hated it.  I think this had a lot to do with my dissatisfaction with my work and very little to do with the quality of the information.  Given that I appear to be in the minority of people who really, really, really didn't like it, I'm giving it another go, and this time I'm going to try to listen to it as an audiobook.  Here goes nothing!

Have any of you tried this book and hated it?  Liked it?  Or, as I have heard is far more likely, loved it?  Has it changed your life like so many people swear it has?

Valentine's Day Gift Guide for Fellows

Ladyfriends, there are twelve days until Valentine's Day!  Show how much you've thought about your gentleman caller with one of these ideas. 

1.  A 20 x 200 print that's made from an article about his favorite TV show.  Wouldn't it be nice to brush your teeth together next to this every day?
What is Marriage? by Austin Kleon 
2.  A snuggly sweater for watching movies on the couch with a fire.
Cotton-cashmere shawl-collar sweater
J. Crew Cotton-Cashmere Shawl Collar Sweater
3.  No fireplace?  Fake it with this candle.
Henri Bendel Firewood Candle
4.  Make him his favorite dinner. 
Image from here, but try this recipe here.  It's a lasagna recipe that has its OWN WEB SITE!  It's worth every step.
Follow it up with his favorite dessert (bonus: no baking required, and no dishes if you just eat it straight from the carton, as is his preference).

5.  A pair of hipster shoes that he keeps looking at, but won't buy for himself because he "doesn't really need them."  
Walk-Over Men's Saddle Shoes
6.  Even though it's too late for the perfect Christmas sweater he spent all of December looking for, there's still time for some warm and wintry Valentine's Day socks.
Corgi wool and cotton socks
7.  A cool bottle of whiskey from a distillery in Michigan.
Journeyman Distillery Ravenswood Rye Whiskey, available from In Fine Spirits, 5418 N. Clark Street
8.  A sweet note camouflaged in a funny card. 
Available at Paper Dolls Chicago
Valentine Card, Octopus in Love
Kate's Paperie Valentine
Valentines Card. Anniversary Card. I Love You Card - You're My Favorite Husband
Available on from JulieAnnArt
9.  Take a trip to  I bet he'll like it!
Julianne Aimee slip
10.  And some bonus freebies that will just make his day better, because really, isn't that how you show someone you love them?  Walk the dog, make the bed, or pack everyone's lunches, because he does those things every day for you!
Tall and Salty's Editorial Assistant in action.  Image is mine.
Sandwich photo via Oh Joy!
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